La Sportiva Nepal Top
Break-in Period: very short
Price Paid: $230 CDN
I've had these boots now for several seasons - I was lucky enough to buy them from a shop who had ordered them directly from Italy, and therefore the price was an absolute steal at only $230 Canadian!!! Now they are $460, but I'm laughin'. I found the boots very comfortable right out of the box; in fact, I took them on an all-day steep climb/hike/scramble for their first trip and was amazed that there were no blisters, pressure points, etc., especially given the fact that the trail was very steep and quite the slog.
I've used them a fair bit for technical ice now, when it's warmer, with Black Diamond Switchblade crampons, and love their performance. It's more like climbing ice in a rock shoe, and it is so nice not to have all that slippage one gets between inner and outer boots of a double plastic boot. My only complaint about the boot is that it does have a little more flex than I'd like - don't get me wrong, it has very little flex, I just have this odd preference of technical boots to be not flexible at all. All in all it is a great boot and I would recommend them to anyone.
Materials: Leather, Plastic...and other stuff
Break-in Period: ?????
Price Paid: about 400 bucks
For those of you who are seriously looking to get ice climbing boots and are deciding on the Nepal, or any other brand for that matter. I am going to be honest. Any stiff rigid boot takes time to break in. I don't believe when they say "comfortable right out of the box"...maybe if they were talking about sandals. These type of boots take time and use to get them to fit you well. You'll see what I mean when you use them.
I am not hear to slam any boot, simply...don't expect slippers. Expect a blister here and there. I have been around enough times to see it again and again. But, over time and use, they will fit you well. And they always feel heavy, especially after a day of shoeing or skiing to a climb, and then climbing the remainder of the day.
Well, that is all i have to say. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.
Materials: leather, lining Cambrelle
Use: wintry mountains
Weight: c. 2,4 kg per pair
It's the old problem: Should a shoe fit right away or do we have to allow several hikes to achieve that? Personally, I believe that a well fitting shoe gives you very few problems even during its first use. (Some models by Scarpa confirmed this idea) The Nepal Top is a very technical boot with almost no flex and no rocker; therefore they make your feet very clumsy when walking, like walking in ski boots and this becomes quite tiring soon. The lacing cuts into your instep so that I had to modify the lacing system. To add insult to injury, after only an hour I got hotspots on my big toes which developed into blisters in no time. (The toebox is the part that will definitely not stretch in a shoe like this) So I was very unhappy with this aquisition and I will go back to Scarpa, which so far have been excellent for my feet
Use: approach, summit, randonee
Break-in Period: never changes
Weight: 10 lbs
Price Paid: don't wanna know
I somehow lucked out with these boots. Initially purchased for mixed routes and technical stuff, these boots soon obsessed me. Now I do almost anything that brings me near snow with these babies. I tend to get myself into long approaches followed by brief moments of glory. These boots perform throughout. For 4 years now I have been skiing in them. I use Silveretta bindings on Atomic Outback TR skiis. I have gone to nirvana. I can hike miles of trail without dying in plastic or swapping boots. Then I skin/ climb / swwoooshhh. Since there is miles of tree skiing to be done to and from the glory holes of the Cascade, often on narrow Icy Trails I highly reccomend this set up to cascade Backcountry Skiiers. Even My Tele Friends drool. ( oh by the way you can do a descent tele-esque turn in silvrettas. I never lock them down)
Break-in Period: Outta the box
Weight: not sure...
Price Paid: check around...
I bought my first pair of these boots about 6 years ago and bought them also for very very cheap (~250can)...right out of the box I was amazed at the comfort and confidence they gave me...I used them extensively for most of my climbing trips in the Cascades and Coast mountains...comfy on any approach right up to alpine rock and steep alpine and waterfall ice I never once questioned how the boot performed...I love them and have just purchased my second pair as the old ones are now beyond repair...I do however still use lighter weight boots when it makes more sense than wearing a larger boot but this saves my nepal tops for extended life...looking forward to more climbs in my favourite boot...
Use: Climbing Mountaineering
Break-in Period: Straight from the box - 5th Trip (Isle of skye)
Price Paid: £149
After a disastrous experiance with a pair of scarpa Fitzroys which now feel and bend like carpet slippers!! I bought - reluctantly - Nepal Tops.
I feel its still a little too early to be completely satisfied But while I'm always aware of the weight I havent had any blisters yet!! Rock climbing in them is a dream, walking.... the jury is still out. Snow and Ice? well, we ised to have that white stuff in the UK but these days holidays and snow rarely co inside. - Still the Alps await and thats why I bought the boots in the first place!! I'll let you know.
Use: I use mine for ice climbing
Break-in Period: right out of the box for me
Price Paid: $300
I love these boots... they're perfect for the type of conditions I climb in... I love the fact that I can actually walk in the things... They allow French technique on ice. And they frontpoint as well as any of the plastic boots my buddies wear.
Use: Mountaineering, ice climbing, etc...
Break-in Period: Right out of the box... pretty incredible!!
Weight: 4 lbs. 12 oz.
Price Paid: $360
I love these boots... They feel so much less clunky than my plastic boots. They fit like a glove... and climb really well...
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